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Lhasa, Tibet

Information about Lhasa
Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. Lhasa in Tibetan language means Holy City. It is the capital of Tibet which dates back to 7th century AD when King Songtsen transferred his capital from Yarlung to Lhasa. This is the largest city in Tibet with an area of 544 square kilometers. Lhasa is the center of Tibet's political, economic, cultural and religious activities. It is situated at the foot of Mount Gephel, on the north bank of River Lhasa, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangbo River, at an altitude of 3,700 meters in the

Lhasa, Lhasa Tibet

south central part of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and counts among one of the highest cities in the world. Lhasa literally means "the Place of Gods". With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is famed as "the City of Sunshine" also. There are many historic sites and famous relics in the city proper and its suburbs, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Gandan Monastery are world famous. The city is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama and the Potala and Norbulingka palaces and in Tibetan Buddhism is regarded as the holiest centre in Tibet. Lhasa also serves as a home to 31 communities and is the most thrilling city that offers everything from calm corners to bustling markets that beckons tourist from around the world. Lhasa has the most challenging terrain to reach and move around when compared to other parts of China and Tibet, as it has extreme altitude location.

Climate of Lhasa
Lhasa enjoys mild weather and is free of both frigid winters and unbearably hot summers. It rains mainly in July, August and September. The rainy seasons in the summer are widely regarded the "best" seasons of the year, during these seasons it rains mostly at night and days are bright and sunny. The city receives amazing amount of sunshine that keeps the temperature a bit high, but as the sun sets the temperature starts to fall drastically making nights extremely cold. So it is advisable to take woolen clothes as well with you. The environment here is conducive to traveling throughout the year, though most pleasant will be during the period from June to August. Atleast keep three full days in hand to complete a tour in Lhasa City.

History of Lhasa

Lhasa has long interesting history. Before the mid-seventh century when Lhasa was yet to come into being, the area was known as Wotang. It was a marshy land of wildness, frequented by antelopes. On one bright summer day, Songtsan Gampo, leader of the Tubo tribe that had risen to power in the Yarlung River Valley, was struck by the perilous position of an area flanked by two steep mountains, while bathing in the Lhasa River, and decided that this was to be the home of his kingdom. This ambitious Tibetan king moved the center of his rule to Wotang and ordered the construction of his residence on the hilltop of Potala. In 641 A.D., Songtsan Gampo who by this time had conquered the whole Tibetan region wedded Princess Wencheng of the Imperial Tang Court. When the princess arrived, she became convinced that Lake Wotang was a devil's heart to be overpowered by the construction of a grand temple after filling up the lake with earth. The princess further suggested that the earth be carried by white goats. This imposing grand temple became a symbol of the kingdom. The temple, later known as Jokhang, was initially named Lhasa, "the Sacred Land" in Tibetan. Over the centuries, Lhasa became a political and religious center of Tibet. Administrative orders were issued from the myriad of imposing palaces. The great temples and monasteries were home to invincible liturgical establishment and witnessed the rise of many religious leaders and endless religious ceremonies. The faithful composed the population of the town and Lhasa became a true "Mecca" of Tibet.

Tourist Attractions in Lhasa

Lhasa city is probably the most gifted city of Tibet in terms of natural beauty, magnificent historical monuments, monasteries, and shopping. You are bound to find few of the most visually enthralling architectural structures in Tibet, not only in form of famous temples and palaces but also in Tibetan residential homes, which are quite tastefully decorated. Lhasa has many historic sites and famous relics in the city proper and its suburbs, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Palaces are world renowned.

How to Reach Lhasa
By Air

The nearest airport to Lhasa city is the Lhasa Gonggar Airport which is around 97 km away.

By Rail

Tibet railways, having started the train service since 1st July 2006 has opened up a new opportunity for the tourist to explore the fantasies yet unseen.

By Road

From airport, the road linkage is good and regular bus service is available.

Local Transport

Getting around in a mini bus is the best way to explore this beautiful city of Lhasa. You can even opt for a taxi or a manually powered tricycle that are there in large numbers.


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